Auckland-based iVistra, a developer of data visualisation technology, is teaming up with European company Transeo to develop visualisation systems, including a suite of packaged systems to support railroad operations.
Transeo is an alliance between British rail freight operator EWS and Thales, a French electronics company serving aerospace, transport, defence and security markets across the world.
Craig Meek, iVistra’s chief executive, says the joint venture with Transeo is an exciting opportunity for the company.
“It gives us a really nice sales channel into the rail sector worldwide,” he says.
iVistra is to lead research and development and visualisation innovation, while Transeo will take care of sales, system integration, implementation, operation, and support and service delivery, says Meek.
The jointly developed systems for rail include consumer visualisation products for journey planning, for example 3D visualisation of stations.
On the business side, iVistra’s online wagon and locomotive tracking and utilisation system will keep track of around 700 trains in the UK and across Europe, says Meek.
iVistra’s technology brings live tracking into rich mapping systems, says Meek.
The technology aims to enable people to “get a snapshot of what is happening right now and make decisions very quickly”, he says.
The company, which was founded in 2003, has spent the last three years building its technology platform and investigating international sales opportunities, says Meek.
The business started off in the road transport industry, but after successfully piloting and deploying its Enterprise Visibility System (EVS) at Toll TranzLink, the company decided to focus on the rail sector, he says.
The big challenge now will be to scale up the business to work internationally, he says.
At the moment, the company has 20 staff, consisting of developers, designers, business analysts and project managers, says Meek.
It recently won a $289,000 grant from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology to help develop middleware and developer kits to integrate its solution into major projects.
Prior to iVistra, Meek co-founded Virtual Spectator, which developed online real-time 3D graphics for the America’s Cup, and a 3D graphics package to enhance the worldwide TV broadcast of the World Rally Championships.
Before that, he founded interactive media agency Terabyte Interactive, which he sold to News Corporation in 1995.